Never cruised before? Not sure whether a holiday on board ship is for you? Then find out what life at sea is all about on a short taster cruise.
Board Celebrity Eclipse in Southampton on April 29 and sail to Cork in south-west Ireland, from where you could take an excursion to the Jameson Irish Whiskey heritage centre, or to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone and get the gift of the gab. Or just stroll off the ship and follow the Titanic trail around the port of Cobh. Fares for this four-day cruise start at £349 per person and include a free upgrade to a balcony cabin. Go to www.gillscruise.com or call 08456 58 23 23.
A four-night cruise on the Queen Mary 2, from Southampton to Zeebrugge, Rotterdam and Cherbourg, is available on May 28. Balcony cabins available from £559 per person. Go to www.gillscruise.com or call 08456 58 23 23.
Ready for a week at sea? SailfromUK.com is offering a seven-night cruise on board P&O’s Oriana, departing from Southampton on April 11. The ship calls at Dublin, Cork, Bilbao in Spain and Brest in France before returning to Southampton. Fares from £619. Go to www.sailfromuk.com or call 0808 202 6104.
Or have seven days at sea and a week in an all-inclusive resort on the Red Sea coast with this deal, available with flights from several regional airports. Fly to Sharm El Sheikh on February 4 to board Thomson Celebration and sail to Aqaba (for excursions to Petra), Port Sokhna (for Cairo) and Safaga (for Luxor) before returning to Sharm and the 4T Dream Vacation Resort for the remainder of your holiday. Fares from £849 per person. Go to www.gillscruise.com or call 08456 58
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In complete contrast, it’s not too late to join a world cruise sector for the journey to the UK from South Africa. Flying from Gatwick airport to Cape Town on March 30 and sailing for 22 nights on Fred Olsen’s Balmoral, you would call at Walvis Bay in Namibia, Takoradi in Ghana, Dakar in Senegal, Casablanca in Morocco and La Coruna, Spain before arriving in Dover on April 21. Fares start at £1,899 per person for an inside twin. Go to www.fredolsencruises.co.uk or call 01473 742424.